Low blood sugar is an increasing complication of patients who undergone weight-loss surgery known as post-bariatric hypoglycemia (PBH). The condition is characterized by a severe and debilitating low blood sugars after meals and if left untreated can result in seizures, loss of consciousness and death.
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Now, new research has developed an automated drug delivery system that can combat and prevent dangerously low blood sugar in weight-loss surgical patients. The research was presented at the 2019 Endocrine Society's annual meeting.
"Currently available treatments are not always effective for severely affected patients," said lead researcher Christopher M. Mulla, M.D. of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Mass.
The automated drug delivery system is similar to an insulin pump and can detect decreasing glucose levels. They system will then deliver the hormone glucagon when levels are low to prevent hypoglycemic events.
"This study demonstrated that our glucagon automated delivery system can detect imminent low blood sugar and deliver a small dose of glucagon, yielding improvements in blood glucose levels after meals and reducing severe hypoglycemia in patients with PBH," Mulla said. "Further research and development of this system will help treat this challenging disease."
Source: Endocrine Society